Ragnarok: A Witch’s Curse by Leanbh Pearson

Suzie Eisfelder

This is one of the books I bought at Continuum this year. I bought this and also the anthology she was selling on her table. Pearson gave a talk about how she writes and I thought this to be absolutely fascinating. I figured reading these would give me some insight into the differences it makes to her writing. I realise that’s a little cryptic and I’ll explain that when I’ve read the anthology with her short story in it.

Leanbh Pearson, apparently her first name is pronounced Le-nurve. I believe it’s the old Irish pronounciation. I do like to pronounced names correctly. Irish, Welsh, and Scottish names are a challenge for me, but I will keep trying.

There’s a problem if you get your understanding of Norse mythology from the movies. This book is correct, though. According to Pearson and every proper authority I’ve looked at, Loki and Odin are blood brothers as opposed to being son and father. If you’ve watched Ragnarok, the movie, you’ll find there is a Ragnarok, but it is a person rather than a battle. Although there is a battle in the movie. It turns out Ragnarok is a witch’s curse and it is the battle that ends all. Sort of like the movie but there’s no happy ending.

This book is told through Loki’s eyes. I’ve always wanted to see things from his point of view, and I’m not disappointed in this book. Although I have been spoiled with Tom Hiddleston and he was always in mind while reading. I did see Chris Hemsworth as Thor, but a less wholesome Thor than we see in the movies and also whoever played Odin. I know I can google him, but I’m writing far too late for successful googling.

Some of the passages were so beautifully written they came straight into my mind’s eye. I would love to see this as a movie (with Tom Hiddleston as Loki), but they would never do that as they do like a happy ending, I’ve already said this book doesn’t have one. And that was another thing I liked about it. I’m not so inclined to happy endings, they’re not realistic. I’m not saying this story is realistic, but it is nicely done. I’m sad about the ending, but I could understand it.

Would I read more of Pearson’s works? Absolutely, I have to compare her short story with this chap book to see how the writing compares. After that, would I read more of her writing? Probably. It’s probably something I’d buy from her if I saw her at some convention. Would I buy them online? Probably not, I’d say she’s an impulse buy for me. And at least I finished it, unlike the romance I was supposed to read for book club.

Would I suggest this to you? If you like Norse mythology, and you like your writing really dark, then yes. If you like fluffy writing then this is not for you.

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